By Salena Moran and Evan Penrod | Staff Writers
Whether fans were watching Super Bowl LI for the commercials or the game itself, pop performer Lady Gaga was arguably one of the most memorable events of the Pepsi Zero Sugar Halftime Show.
Fresh off the release of her new album, “Joanne,” Gaga’s ever evolving style and social views have raised questions as to how the singer would approach an event as grand as the Super Bowl.
While the mega-popstar has been quite vocal about her political stance (even protesting outside Trump Towers after the 2016 presidential election), she delivered a very tasteful and enjoyable performance. She did not preach about the country’s political status, but instead began with a basic act of patriotism in her renditions of “America the Beautiful” and “This Land Is Your Land.” She followed up with lines from the Pledge of Allegiance while a multitude of Intel drones coalesced into a red, white and blue formation of the American flag.
While social media was abuzz and already making memes of Gaga’s jump from the NRG Stadium’s roof in Houston, Texas, fans at the event claim the opening scene was pre-recorded and timed just perfectly to create an optical illusion. Just as Gaga leapt from the stadium’s roof in the video, a spotlight showed her descending onto a platform on the stage as if she really did jump. This was a unique experience that has not graced the NFL in years.
With several costume and makeup changes throughout her 13 minute performance, Lady Gaga maintained a dignity that can only be found in the utmost talented and classy musicians. From a silver studded jumpsuit and bold red lips to a white crop-top shoulder-pads ensemble, Gaga really focused on the game of football itself, having her backup dancers wear football helmets and even dancing in the formation of a football.
It was clear that Lady Gaga was not using any pre-recorded track or lipsyncing (as has been seen in the past) but was singing with her own fantastic voice. At certain points, audiences could see and hear that she was out of breath, but with all of the acrobatics and dancing, who wouldn’t be? The quality of her performance did not waver, and she managed to take steady control of her voice until the very end.
Lady Gaga sang hit after hit, spanning the full length of her career featuring songs from her first album “The Fame,” all leading up to her most recent album “Joanne.” She performed her entire setlist while holding a microphone, a surprising addition seeing as she was dancing, moving and playing instruments for the entirety of the act.
Even the surrounding audience got a chance to participate as well, with each of the surrounding members having a sort of glowing baton that changed colors and traveled through the crowd making different effects (i.e. stars and waves).
Gaga said that she was there to “make you feel good” and simply provide an entertaining escape for stadium fans and viewers at home. However, her performance did not go without some sort of inspirational message. Along with her patriotic and unifying opening song, Gaga embraced her diverse array of dancers ranging in different ages, races and genders during her hit “Born this Way.” In this way, she sent across a message of togetherness, peace and acceptance without preaching politics to the crowd or bashing elected officials.
In her ending number, Lady Gaga concluded with an epic microphone drop, caught a football and jumped off a set of stairs. She really succeeded in staying true to pure entertainment and the All-American sport of football itself.
Overall, Lady Gaga did an excellent job of staying true to her patriotism and celebrating football while promoting acceptance and unity in an exciting and upbeat way. The combination of new drone technology, acrobatics, pyrotechnics, a star studded wardrobe and pure vocal talent made for a halftime show that will be hard to beat in the future.